The decision to do a bike tour was to act on a dream

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Touring cyclist from China

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Touring has always seemed a simple diversion for Europeans – not so easy for all.

“China is different to here. Parents are not open to travel. My mother was worried because I was travelling alone and had no food and nowhere to sleep and no money. When I was young I wanted to go and learn more things, meet more people, talk to more people and learn more about the world. I can get more experience and it is good for me. In China, most people only think about it they when they want to do something. But only a few people will do it. Many of my friends, when I post pictures on internet, they are very happy to see them.”

On a rainy day, a dry place to sleep is a lucky day

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Touring cyclist from China and his bike complete with panniers

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Weather is just another factor touring cyclists cannot control.

“I have been able to stay with people a few times, but I have a tent and can sleep anywhere. If I can get a place, like a home, to sleep I am very happy. It is my lucky day. I have slept in parking lots. On rainy days, I do not want to ride a bike and, some days, I cannot get out. I stay dry in these places.

“I slept in a parking lot one night in Holland and, in the morning, someone called the police and they came and asked some questions. I told them it was a rainy day and had nowhere to live. I was safe there and the bike was safe and I had a tent. They asked me when I would leave. I told them I would finish what I was doing and then leave. I rode to Rotterdam and that is a big city. It is hard to find a place in cities. I slept under the bridge there. It was also very rainy that night. Finding a place to sleep, that is my homework every day.” Continue reading

Taking advantage of your youth to explore the world

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Touring cyclist from China resting in Brussels

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Touring Europe before returning to China, all done on a shoestring.

“I am young, 27, and I think when young people should do something they like, if they can. I have always ridden a bike but I have never done a journey like this before. Now I have ten weeks in Europe and have been here for four weeks so far. I flew from Hangzhou, China, to Frankfurt and began the bike ride there. From Frankfurt to Berlin, then Hamburg, then Amsterdam and then here, Brussels. A good ride. More than 1,600 kilometres, so far, to here. This afternoon I will head to Paris. I would like to go to London, but I do not have a visa.”

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